I'll be honest. I don't consider myself a feminist. Now, I am certainly not anti-feminist either. I believe that women deserve, and are entitled to the same rights and priviledges as men do, but I've distanced myself from the feminist movement for a number of reasons. Any ones views, whether social, political or religious are entitled to praise and criticism, and that includes feminism. I am not critical of feminism itself, but of how extreme its become. What was once a movement striving to grant women the same liberties as men, has started to demonize the male gender, and make stereotypes out of them.
We've heard it all: All men think about is sex. All men are perverts. Men loved being touched. Men are pigs. Blah, blah, blah. I have dealt with almost every feminist-nazi there is to exist, from the girl who will accuse me of sexual assault for barely touching her shoulder, to the others who will simply say I can't be feminist because I am not a women. I can deal with those. But the ones that tick me off, more than anything else are the women that say "Men cannot be raped."
If the Odyssey didn't have censorship rules I would love to shout out a certain word right now but I think most of you who agree with me had already done it so...
Let me first start by saying: No, that is not true. Men can be raped and sexually assaulted. I speak from experience. In mid-February of 2011, I was a freshman in high school. I was picked on relentlessly to the point I had to stay after school to take a late bus home everyday. One day, a few of the kids that picked on me caught on to it and cornered me on the side of the building where I was waiting for the bus. There were four boys and one girl, all I am willing to keep nameless for their saftey. They surrounded me at first, kicking my ankles, and calling me names. They did this until the bus came, in which I scrambled on for safety. Unfortunately, they followed me onto the bus and sat around me. The girl that was with them sat next to me, and began making flirty comments towards me and asking me if I "wanted to make it hot in here." Which I responded "no." Then she accused me of being gay, in which I said "shut up." Then she took my hand and told me to prove it, and before I can answer, she deliberately placed my hand on her breast, which I immediately pulled away. The four other boys who were sitting around me all had their phones out as if they were taking pictures or recording (thankfully it turns out it was all part of a joke, and no photos or videos were actually taken. If any of them were, they never surfaced.) Then the girl began resting her head on my shoulder. At this point I became very uncomfortable and told her to get off me. Instead she began reaching down my shirt and rubbing it. I pushed her away but it didn't stop her. She placed an arm around me, then tightened it into a chokehold, where she began licking my face. However, I was able to fight may way out of that seat, and got off at the first stop. But the damage was already done. I had gone home crying and locked myself in my room, My father accompanied me to the school the next morning to report the incident. In the end, none of them got in trouble. It was my word against all of theirs and the girl even accused me of leading her on in the first place, which I continue to maintain wasn't true. I would find out later from the girl that the one of the boys told her to flirt with me. My experience might not sound as brutal as actual rape. But I can tell you, I felt violated after that incident, and it is still the dirtiest feeling I've ever felt, and it was traumatizing, so it felt like rape. Despite the negative experience, it opened my eyes to a subject I never hear anyone talk about. Gender reversal when it comes to sexual assault.
Since women are more likely to be victims of rape or sexual assault, they obviously receive more attention in the media.There are more organizations and shelters designed specifically to aid women from abusive situations. Unfortunately, it overshadows the cases involving men, resulting in the subject being either glossed over or ignored. While one out of five women are raped at some point in their lifetime, one out of seventy one men are raped in their lifetime. However many experts believe that the numbers are much higher, and this is because only 37% of rape cases are ever reported to the police. And only two percent of sexual assault cases involved women being the offender.
Jennifer Marsh, the vice president of the anti-sexual violence organization RAINN has statedas , "Often, male survivors may be less likely to identify what happened to them as abuse or assault because of the general notion that men always want sex." There are alot of things that cause such an issue to be ignored or worsed dismissed as a myth. It can be be found within the culture and within the social norms we are a part of.
The first problem is with the media on gender roles. This is seen heavily influenced as a stereotype in the media, specifically on television sitcoms. Men are usually depicted pigs, sometimes flaunting their masculinity, while the women, if not vulnderable, is amusingly the smartest person in the room. This has influenced the perception of what all men are like: dominant, flirty, and on occasions, obtuse. It's hard to see the vice versa. Or worse, they make the male protagonist out to learn he was lucky that it happened. One example is in the comedy film, "Wedding Crashers," there is a scene involving Vince Vaughn's is tied down to a bed while a naked Isla Fisher forces sex onto him. The next day he complains about being raped, but at the end of the film, he realizes he is in love with her, and everything ends happily. For most people, since Isla Fisher was "hot," in the film, most of the audience would just simply assume that he was lucky, especially a terrible actor like Vince Vaughn. But imagine if Isla Fisher was the one tied to the bed, and Vince Vaughn was the rapist. It would not sit well with the audience, especially coming from a comedy film. The problem here is most films or tv shows depicting rape tend to use the "female-on-male rape" scenario as a comical one. Another more recent example is on the television series, "Family Guy." " Family Guy" aired an episode involving Peter getting sexually harrassed by his female boss. His boss forces him into a series of "sexual roleplaying." Lois and Meg don't take it seriously and outright deny that a women can sexually harrass a man.
The next problem is the human anatomy. Men have penises, penises get erections, and obviously, sexual arousal leads to ejaculation. Also men can't get pregnant. Anyone who paid attention in their seventh grade health class, knows that these processes are all automatic responses to sexual stimuli. Believe it or not, men don't have absolute control over their "boners." Guys, you know exactly what I'm talking about every time you wake up in the morning.
And the most obvious problem is the lack of attention. Many documentaries involving the subject of rape and sexual assault are almost universally aimed towards women. I've seen very few occasions where the documentry will touch on male victims. And the most time it does go into detail is if its a male-on-male rape case.But its always done poorly and is never given enough depth. In fact, in a documentary, The Hunting Ground, *you can find it on Netflix), which was about rape on college campuses,only scratched the surface of men being raped. But the point where they mentioned it didn't even last 5 minutes, and it seemed like the makers of the documentary just put it there solely to prevent men from feeling left out. But even in the short time it did touch on the subject it mentioned the the amount of reported rapes done on men are so low, that its almost impossible to do research on the issue. Which is true. So much emphasis has been made on rape towards women that male rape victims aren't only dismissed but as a result, feel discouraged to come forward.
Things need to be done in order to change these problems. In order for male rape to be recognized, we must acknowledge that men are capable of being vulnerable, just like women. Since both men and women are socialized to see men as assertive, powerful and in control of their bodies, This makes it hard to believe men can in fact be "victims." And unfortunately, because of this social norm, it makes it hard for male victims to seek out services, thus making it less likely that these services are available. The question is: how do we do it? Staff of any organization or shelter should be trained to understand that a male victims are real. That we should approach every rape or sexual assault case with the most serious efforts, regardless of gender. Also, we must conduct more research into cases involving male victims, specifically if the assailant was a women, because while we know men can rape other men, it still aims at men being an assailant as well. And we need to encourage victims to come forward in order to bring this furthur into the light. We can't let the demographics encourage them to stay in the dark and discourage them from speaking up.
So for all the feminists that got pissed off by this article, I have one more thing to say. You obviously don't like it when a man says "a women's only place in society is in the kitchen." If that statement angers you, then you know how male victims feel when you dismiss them. Rape is rape, no matter what gender. If a person is forcing his or herself on you, against your will. That is rape.